Author Topic: Policy to Distribute Agricultural Khas Land  (Read 1074 times)

Noor E Alam

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Policy to Distribute Agricultural Khas Land
« on: May 19, 2018, 12:47:08 PM »
The East Bengal State Acquisition and Tenancy Act 1950, which abolished the Zamindari System (Permanent Settlement of 1793) provided the basis for all subsequent laws relating to khas land[16]. Attempts at re-distributive reform through the establishment of land ceilings have been a feature of both the Pakistan and Bangladesh periods. However, whilst ostensibly designed to place land in the hands of the tiller and to return water bodies to those who fish them, these have largely been circumvented by the wealthy and powerful[17].

After independence, the instruments of khas land distribution became the Bangladesh State Acquisition and Tenancy (Fourth Amendment) Order 1972, the Bangladesh Landholding Limitation Order 1972, President’s Order LXI 1975 and the 1984 Land Reform Ordinance. The most important Government notifications relating to the settlement of khas land are the Land Reform Action Program 1987 and the Agricultural Khas Land and Settlement Policy 1997.

To assist the process of Khas land identification and its equitable distribution, government policies and the regulatory framework – especially the 1984 Land Reform Ordinance and the khas land management and distribution policies of 1987 and 1997 – provided concrete directions towards establishing national and local level committees for overseeing khas land identification and distribution, identification of landless persons and a prioritization process as well as a procedure for raising public support for securing access to khas land[18]. One enabling law was the policy instituted in 1997 to distribute khas land to landless peasants, defined as landless families dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. This also prioritized certain groups, such as families of freedom fighters, families that had lost their land to erosion, and families whose lands were expropriated by the government[19].